Patient-Reported Distress and Problems Among Elderly Patients with Hematological Malignancy in Korea
Purpose: Treatment for hematological malignancies (HMs) and functional decline associated with age can cause distress in elderly patients with HMs. However, information about the nature and effects of distress in this population is scarce. Therefore, this study examined the level of distress, its source, and the practical/familial/physical/emotional problems among elderly patients with HMs. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study of patients with HMs aged ≥ 65 years who visited an
... nt clinic at a tertiary medical center in Korea between November 2019 and March 2020. Patient-reported distress and problems were measured using the Distress Thermometer (DT) and 39‐item Problem List by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. Descriptive statistics, χ2 test or Fisher's exact test, and multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted (N = 132). Results: In total, 62.1% of patients were had moderate to severe distress (DT score ≥ 4), experiencing an average of nine problems. Significant sources of distress on multivariate logistic analysis included problems with transportation, depression, and constipation, accounting for 47% of distress variance. Most patients had physical (97.0%) or emotional problems (79.5%). Among these, fatigue (60.6%), worry (59.8%), tingling (59.8%), getting around (47.0%), and memory/concentration (40.2%) were the most frequently reported problems. Conclusions: Elderly patients with HMs have a high burden of distress, which is affected by different sources, compared with patients with general cancer. Thus, in this population, assessment and management of distress need to be conducted considering the unique features of their source and burden. Further research on distress should consider the cancer type and population age.